Monday, March 10, 2014

We've arrived in Birmingham!

Martha trying to decide what to get at Krispy Kreme.
We packed up our stuff and headed out to Birmingham, Alabama this morning. But first we had to stop for breakfast. Luckily, there was a Krispy Kreme located a few blocks from our hotel and it's one of those that never shuts off the Hot Donuts sign!

Dean Alexander explaining what our
lunch options are.

We arrived in Birmingham and, as we were checking into our hotel, we got a surprise visit from Associate Dean of Students for Diversity Thomas Alexander. He is from Birmingham and he decided to meet us and take us to Five Points South for lunch. It's a great little shopping district located near University of Alabama-Birmingham.

After lunch, we volunteered at the Food Bank of Central Alabama. We set up four assembly lines and created what they called backpack meals. The food bank gives out these packages on Fridays to school kids that might not have anything to eat during the weekends when they aren't getting their school lunches. They said that they issue approximately 5,000 of these care packages every month. In the time that we were there, we were able to put together over 900 meals.
The group working in the Food Bank of Central Alabama.
Martha, Karina and Brandon putting together
bags of food.
We then traveled to Kelly Ingram Park. We were able to take some time to enjoy the fantastic weather and follow along some of the Civil Rights Birmingham March Trails that they have set up through the several blocks surrounding the park. We also took this time to sit down and reflect on what we have experienced so far this week, what we have learned and what has impacted us the most.
Will reading the plaque explaining the
Freedom  Riders.

Shaneka learning about the store boycotts in Birmingham.

Erik, Christian, Jennie, Chanda and Martha sharing their thoughts on the trip so far in Kelly Ingram Park.
Brandon, Karina, Brittley, Prof. Young, Brianna and Shaneka playing Rockin' Robin in Kelly Ingram Park.
Jennie and Shaneka enjoying dinner at Niki's West.

Dinner was at Niki's West Steak and Seafood where we got to experience some more Southern cooking. Dean Alexander dropped in on us at the restaurant to find out how our first day in Birmingham was.

There were a couple other important things that were learned today. Southerners call shopping carts "buggies" and somebody decided Piggly Wiggly was a good name for a supermarket. Also, pork rinds come in a bunch of different flavors!

Tomorrow we head back to Kelly Ingram Park, The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the 16th Street Baptist Church before traveling to Selma.

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